End of the war — Refugees in Hinterstein — The Plankalkül — The computing universe — Automation and self-reproducing systems — A logarithmic computing machine — Computer development in Germany and the United States — Move to Hopferau near Füssen — The mill of the Patent Office

  • Konrad Zuse


The Allgäu had remained relatively unscathed by the war. Only now, in the final days of the war, did the refugees start to arrive. Helmut O. Goeze describes the situation very aptly:

Since early April 1945, all the towns south of Sonthofen were teeming with refugees, especially Oberstdorf and Hindelang; all of the hotels and guest houses were full, as were many farmhouses.

During the final days of the war some 2000 members of the Wehrmacht and the SS came to Ostrachtal, to the small villages of Hindelang, Oberstdorf and Hinterstein, as well as to the high meadow valleys and alpine huts of the Ostrachtaler Mountains. This area formed a part of the “Alpine Fortress,” which was to be held to the bitter end — a very dangerous situation for the small town of Hinterstein with some 75 houses arranged in three main clusters in the narrow valley: the first village with its chapel, the center one with its parish church, and the last with its old baroque chapel. Further back, atop a large meadow and at the entrance to a ten-kilometer-long, high-lying valley, was an enormous labor camp; later, refugees and children would also find shelter here. There were also anti-aircraft and field guns — a “Wallenstcin’s Camp of the first order.”

In total, there were at least 1200 refugees, 2000 soldiers and some 100 workers, as well as countless VIPs in search of a last-minute hideout. By early May 1945 almost all Germany was occupied, rendering the defense of the Alpine Fortress completely meaningless, as was the destruction of bridges and power plants.


Computer Development Computing Machine Guest House Algorithmic Language Choice Unit 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konrad Zuse
    • 1
  1. 1.HünfeldGermany

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